A Must Read Article in Today’s New York Times: The Unintended Consequences of Hyperhydration
Quite the awakening article on America’s exaggerated use of the disposable water bottle . You will find below some fascinating excerpts to the article written by Jon Mooallem, a contributing writer with the New York Times. This full NY Times magazine article can be found HERE .
The article is mostly about the fact that the Bottle Bill (which in some states refund a nickel for every returned bottle) does NOT cover water bottles and about all the complications in the chanels between manufacturer, distributor, retailer and consumer to arrive at some working solution to handle all this waste. Anyhoo, read on and get enlightened:
“Bottle bills are still surprisingly good at inspiring recycling and reducing litter. But, though they are idiosyncratic in every state, the vast majority of the laws share one colossal, unanticipated flaw:
they place a deposit on beer and carbonated beverages only. The bottle bill’s scope, and to some extent the very vision of a more waste-conscious world that first motivated it, has been swiftly trivialized by the ubiquity of bottled water. This year, Americans will drink more than 30 billion single-serving
bottles of water. Oregonians will throw out about 170 million empty ones. Those same bottles, filled with something fizzy, would carry nickel deposits.”
…”The laws were written in a different era, a less health-obsessed one, when drinking out of a bottle or can meant drinking beer or soda.”
…”Americans buy about 215 billion beverage containers every year, more than quadruple those bought in 1971.” …”In her office one morning, Vicki Berger seemed to share this principled insensitivity. When it comes to bottled water, she said, “when are we going to say enough is enough of this product?” (Berger had previously explained her position on water this way: “The product is zilch! You’re buying a friggin’ container!”)”
…”Americans will throw out more than two million tons of PET bottles this year. Even when recycled, it is hard to turn scrap PET into new bottles. More virgin material is always necessary. PET is a petroleum product; it comes from oil. The Container Recycling Institute estimates that 18 million barrels of crude-oil equivalent were needed to replace the bottles we chucked in 2005, bottles that were likely shipped long distances to begin with —from Maine or Calistoga or Fiji.”
Oy! I’m guilty of it myself. I buy the 24 pack of 24 oz water bottles. The kids each grab a bottle in the morning on their way to school. What has somewhat alleviated my guilt over consuming all that plastic is that my family recycles like no other in our community. Yep, we are the ones with the overflowing recycling curbside bins, while my neighbors hardly ever put theirs out. I even bring back my recycling from the office. So does my husband. But this article sure sheds a bright light on this issue and brought on a new decision for me and my family. I am buying sturdy, refillable, dishwasher proof (these bottles, put directly in our mouths accumulate lots of bacteria and need to be washed frequently) bottle for the whole family and we will be taking the time to refill them with our own tap water.
In fact, I don’t remember ever being this thirsty as a child. Do you? My parents don’t remember needed to carry water bottles on every errand or every car trip we took. It’s time for us to rethink all this…